Washington, D.C. — By now the public is acquainted with the Koch brothers and their effort to use their wealth to reshape American politics. Behind the scenes, however, their vast political network relies on operatives like Sean Noble to ensure that the Kochs and other donors can pump money into elections while maintaining secrecy. After Noble admitted the Koch-affiliated group he oversees engaged in political activity — directly contradicting his own statements to federal agencies — CREW’s voters awarded the former Koch lackey the title of May’s Scoundrel of the Month.
As president of the Center to Protect Patient Rights (CPPR, now known as American Encore), Noble attested to the Internal Revenue Service that the group did not engage in political activity in 2010. In a March interview with the conservative National Review Online, however, Noble openly boasted about CPPR’s efforts to defeat congressional Democrats in 2010, even admitting that CPPR funneled money through other groups to maintain the anonymity of donors while sidestepping tax laws that prevented CPPR from making politics its primary purpose. After Noble’s admission, CREW filed an IRS complaint against Noble and CPPR.
“The last time Sean Noble made headlines, his sloppy money laundering in California brought his former Koch patrons unwanted scrutiny and earned a hefty fine. For a man who sells himself as the go-to person to keep high-dollar donor activities secret, he certainly has a problem keeping his schemes out of the spotlight,” CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said.
Noble’s triumph is the most recent instance in which America’s broken campaign finance system has figured prominently in CREW’s monthly Scoundrel vote. In April, voters singled out Chief Justice John Roberts for his role in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court’s latest misguided decision threatening to flood elections with even more money. In January, voters marked the fourth anniversary of the court’s Citizens United decision with a Scoundrel win, underscoring how the disastrous ruling has eroded democracy by further empowering billionaires like the Kochs to secretly influence politics.
Nominations are already being accepted for June’s Scoundrel of the Month. People, entities, and agencies are all eligible. Submit your choices by Friday, June 27th. Voting will begin the following week.